Woodhead’s troops move into top four

Morecambe opener Josh Dixon in action.
Morecambe opener Josh Dixon in action.

Morecambe went into the penultimate weekend of the Northern League season with hopes they could reach fourth place come Sunday evening - and they reached their goal.

Saturday saw Morecambe make the trip down the Fylde coast to Fleetwood, their main contenders in the battle for the final Lancashire Cup spot.

Winning the toss Fleetwood captain Matt Clarke had no hesitation letting his side have first look on a pitch but Morecambe were rewarded first ball of the game when Josh Dixon claimed a straight forward catch at square leg to dismiss Mike Clinning from the bowling of Yakub Bhamji.

Adam Parker (64) however had other ideas and alongside Naveed Yousaf (84 not out) they turned on the style, striking the ball to all corners.

It seemed Morecambe had no answers but when Parker fell to a superb catch in the deep by Ryan Smith off of the legspin bowling of Jake Smith Morecambe had a glimmer of hope.

Yousaf and Joe Bell (45) thought otherwise and took Fleetwood to what seemed a mammoth total of 230 from their 50 overs.

Morecambes response started poorly as they lost Mark Woodhead, Ryan Pearson and professional Vishal Tripathi all for single figures.

Opener Josh Dixon however found a partner in Ryan Smith and together they set about their work chipping away at the Fleetwood total.

Dixon brought up his 50 with a straight drive from the bowling of Parker and Smith was soon to follow looking extremely graceful in his stroke play.

Smith continued his fine ball striking alongside Tom Barnfield (28) as Dixon fell LBW for a well made 53.

Between Smith and Barnfield they took Morecambe past the 160 mark.

With victory hopes fading it was left to the ever present Smith to ensure Morecambe reached 180 and gained a third batting bonus point.

With that result Morecambe were 10 points in arrears of Fleetwood going into Sundays game in hand verses the Lancashire Colts.

Morecambe skipper Mark Woodhead had no hesitation in asking the Lancashire Colts to have a bat.

The impressive Tommy Clough and James Law bowled unchanged throughout the Colts innings claiming 
five wickets a piece thanks to some superb catching in the outfield from the Morecambe side.

The spin of Clough and the left arm seam of Law seemed to be the perfect combination as they limited the Colts to a well below par 152 a.o from their 50 overs.

In reply Ben Eckton uprooted both Mark Woodhead and Vishal Tripathi’s off stumps with fantastic deliveries before Josh Dixon (46) and Ryan Smith (43) again combined beautifully.

The pair were to fall before the winning runs were scored both agonisingly short of well deserved back to back half centuries.

It was left to Lewis Edge (30 not out) to play one of his typically aggressive innings to bring Morecambe home alongside Ryan Pearson (8 not out).